Fashion Studies, BS

Fashion merchandising students work together on a project With this cooperative program, you can specialize in either accessories design or fashion design as a visiting student.

Fashion: Practical Necessity, Art Form, Business Opportunity

The Fashion Studies program at IUP emphasizes the multifaceted nature of the apparel industry from pre-design to post-consumer and beyond. Students gain a holistic view of fashion through required coursework, then choose one (or more) of three Fashion Studies specializations (Merchandising, Design, or Styling and Promotion) based upon their interests, skills, and career goals. Communications, problem-solving, group project organization, professional presentation, and analytical and critical thinking skills are incorporated throughout course content.

Students pursue a minor or additional coursework in a complementary subject area of interest to fulfill graduation credit requirements. This could include, but is not limited to, minors in business administration, marketing, economics, theatre, studio art, communications media, sustainability, or an additional Fashion Studies specialization.  

Graduates of this program are prepared for such positions as an assistant buyer, assistant designer, manufacturer's sales representative, merchandise manager, custom clothier, costume technician, production assistant, ready-to-wear quality control analyst, textile testing laboratory technician, trend forecaster, store manager, stylist, visual merchandiser, museum curator assistant, personal color consultant, fashion design entrepreneur, personalized shopping specialist, manufacturing manager, internet sales entrepreneur, and social media fashion consultant.

Students are individually guided through their program by Fashion Studies faculty advisors who have decades of teaching and advisement experience. Through this relationship, students can tailor their undergraduate experience to gain the necessary knowledge and skills needed to be competitive in today's fashion industry.

Our graduates are employed in all aspects of the fashion industry, including buyer, visual merchandiser, product developer, professional stylist, sales representative, fashion entrepreneur, and managerial/corporate fashion positions, among others. We are extremely excited about our new, updated curriculum developed as part of IUP's NextGen initiative that allows for new coursework, specializations, and greater freedom in customizing our undergraduate program especially for a student's needs as a future fashion industry professional.

To be competitive in the fashion industry after graduation, our Fashion Studies students are encouraged to approach their undergraduate education as professional job training. This includes building time management skills, teamwork, and attention to detail both in and out of the classroom. Fashion Studies courses go beyond traditional lecture formats and include hands-on learning activities and projects. Students are strongly encouraged to be creative, but technical accuracy is expected. As such, faculty members guide students throughout the learning process while stressing quality in student work in order to develop a body of work worthy of inclusion within a professional portfolio.

To augment classroom learning, students are also expected to be involved in outside activities to apply their fashion knowledge and skills. Fashion industry employers have shared that they prefer applicants who demonstrate leadership and self-initiative related to fashion experiences outside of the classroom. Our two professional student organizations (IUP Fashion Association and Visual Merchandising Club) afford students multiple opportunities for leadership building, skill application, networking, and study tours. Students also have gained industry experience by obtaining part-time employment in a fashion-related job, starting their own business while still in school, studying fashion abroad, and/or participating in internship experiences.